April 13, 2014

Bullying is a Pain in the Brain!

by Claire Pomeroy
 This week's MPower session focused on life skills exercises to better know and understand “The Communication Basics” – specifically how to deal with bullying.  Unlike previous sessions, which typically have been very active and encouraged learning through actions, this week’s session was quieter and focused on discussion rather than action.  After a delicious dinner of lasagna and salad, small groups comprised of Leaguers and foster children sat together to read one of four books – “My Secret Bully” by Trudy Ludwig, “Nobody Knew What to Do” by Becky Ray McCain, “Trouble Talk” by Trudy Ludwig, and “Just Kidding” by Trudy Ludwig.  
 Dana, Carmina and Claire had the opportunity to read “Just Kidding” and talk with the kids about how mean things, even when said in a joking tone, can be hurtful.  The children were very insightful about how to deal with this form of bullying: take away the bully’s power by embracing the joke and playing it off as no big deal, talking with friends, and seeking advice from an adult.  After a good discussion, we watched the movie “Bullies are a Pain in the Brain!” to see these solutions in action.  Finally, we wrapped up the evening by creating caring chains - each child created a paper caring chain made up of kind things they could say to each other to remind us all to be more caring.  If the other Junior League volunteers and the foster children felt  the same way I did upon leaving Monday’s session, I think we now have that many more people MPower(ed) to confront bullying head on!